Plastic cement is a vital ingredient in any do-it-yourself project, be it around the house or in the garden. It is used in many different applications such as patios, foundations, sidewalks, walkways, driveways, etc. Cement is a bonding agent, and when mixed with sand, water, and crushed stones it helps make mortar and concrete, which are then used for multiple projects.
If you are planning any home projects that require using plastic cement, you will need to mix it first. Keep in mind that mixing plastic cement is not as simple as it sounds, and it does require some patience and precision. Here’s how you can mix it up with the best of them.
Step 1 – Gather the Ingredients
Prepare the work area. Since plastic cement dries up very quickly, it can end up ruining the working space. So spread out a plastic sheet or a tarp that you can work on without fear. Gather the three main dry ingredients, namely, pure cement, sand, and crushed stone or aggregate. Keep all that you will need at hand so as not to waste too much time while mixing.
Step 2 – Mix the Ingredients
Begin the actual mixing of the plastic cement. Use a long-handed garden shovel to add and blend the 3 items, pure cement, sand, and aggregate, in the mixing container or wheelbarrow. You need to divide the ingredients in the following ratio: 1 part cement, 2 parts sand and 3 parts aggregate. Add each material into the wheelbarrow in small quantities rather than adding everything together. Add water to the mixture. Avoid pouring in too much water in one shot; the key is to keep adding add a little water at a time. This is important because if you put in too much water, the mixture won’t work. It needs to be only slightly wet, not a paste.
Continue to add all the ingredients in small quantities, keeping in mind the ratio given above. Add water only if you think it is necessary. Remember that there is no set quantity for the amount of water needed, and the drier you keep the mixture, the better will be the end result. It is also important to keep stirring the mixture continuously with the shovel until all the dry clumps are tossed over and the mixture is wet. This may be tough and will require some amount of arm strength. Keep stirring until you get a cake-batter-like consistency.
Step 3 – Finishing Up
Once you have the right quantity mixed thoroughly in the wheelbarrow, use the mixture as intended. Remember, the wheelbarrow might be pretty heavy; so ensure you take all the safety precautions.
Step 4 – Adding More Cement
If you are working on a large project, you will need to prepare more mixture. For additional batches, you need to be quick. If you add a fresh batch to the already dried batch, it might cause structural weakness.